In Memoriam – Norma Ash


An appreciative audience: My biological family – yes, I’m adopted and this is my birth mom Adrienne (in red), her mom, my Yaya (in pink) and my half-brother, Ricky. We’ve been cultivating a relationship for 24 years now. Many adoptees don’t have the great fortune of creating a loving relationship with their biological families. I’m so lucky to have love in 3D from all my families.

On this day mid-July, I made “La Vida Loca” – a healthy taco menu of:

stewed pintos

raw tomatillos salsa

cabbage slaw

pickled red onions

My Yaya was on hospice care at the time of this meal – she passed away the following week – on July 31. I’m so grateful to have known her  and spent as much time with her as I did – taking bubble baths together, brushing her hair, reading, watching movies, and eating ice cream. She had such an appreciation for beauty and life’s sensual pleasures.

Yaya, I love you.


nigella and marcie to face-off

imageHere we are in Book Passage. My financial support crew, that keeps me on track noticed that I hadn’t mentioned much about my cooking vision in my monthly spending plan or my purpose statement. BUSTED!

Jon pointed straight at the poster of Nigella Lawson and said, “that needs to be you! I’ve seen your videos, you’re meant to have your own show and cookbooks. What’s the deal?”

OK! Here’s the deal… Universe, I’m putting it out. Hear me. I’m open. I’m cooking weekly for clients now, refining my skills. I”m becoming an expert on the bbq, something I didnt expect in this lifetime as a woman. White woman can bbq. Look out!

And Nigella, look out! I’m on the move…

Angel bearing fish

I have a confession. I’m a loner. Well, what am I really?  A woman who loves people and is also afraid to get rejected – so I can default easily to isolation – which can look like weeks going by  where I haven’t made one concrete social plan.  Yeah! This realization has been painful and as I confess to you this superpower that keeps me from getting nourished by human connection, I offer this:  I have made a commitment. I have implemented a bottom-line: I must have at least one social plan every weekend, preferably a Saturday night (or Friday) in order to build the muscle of connecting…regularly…with people I enjoy…maybe even love.

So, enters Angela, a new friend who I met when I was looking for a new housemate on my houseboat. The houseboat wasn’t a fit for her, but we struck enough of  a fancy to start a friendship.

We both love food and cooking and so she arrives Friday night with two of the most gorgeous filets of fish from FISH, our local sustainable fish market (they sell their own catch). A pink filet of trout and a white filet of sturgeon. Stunning! I wish you were here.

With directions of how to grill each fish, Angela’s on bbq duty while I slice sweet potatoes and radicchio and concoct some fabulous sauces for the dipping.

I’m the BOSS OF SAUCE, as my friend Carin (of Culinary Magic) calls me. I whip up the most delicious caper and dill cream sauce and (drum roll please) a cilantro chipotle pumpkin seed pesto. OH MY, is that good. I put it on everything. Veggies, griddle cakes, quesadillas, fish, veggies, soup, crackers, my list to make it tomorrow since the jar is empty.

Cilantro Chipotle Pumpkin Seed Pesto 

olive oil

pumpkin seeds

ground chipotle chile



splash of water

blend it all together and say YUM!

You’re probably wondering what are the exact measurements. You’ll have to wait til tomorrow when I make the next batch and I’ll update you. Til then, I advise you to trust your instincts and experiment, tasting all along the way.

That’s another way that I’m the BOSS OF SAUCE. JUST FU*&$%ING MAKE IT. NOW. TRUST. I’M WATCHING.